THE DUKE OF BRUNSWICK AND HIS HUSSARS (THE BLACK BRUNSWICKERS). (See p. 590.)Effects of Walpole's Administration—Formation of the new Ministry—Attitude of the Malcontents—Committee of Inquiry into Walpole's Administration—Walpole's Protectors—Ministerial Measures—Prorogation of Parliament—Disasters of the French—British Division in the Netherlands—Opening of Parliament—The German Mercenaries—Amendment of the Gin Act—George goes to Germany—Stair and De Noailles in Franconia—Stair in a Trap—Bold Resolution of King George—The Battle of Dettingen—Resignation of Stair—Retreat of the French—Negotiations for Peace—Treaty of Worms—Pelham becomes Prime Minister—The Attacks of Pitt on Carteret—Attempted Invasion of England—Its Failure—Progress of the French Arms—Frederick II. invades Bohemia—His Retirement—Resignation of Carteret—Pelham strengthens his Ministry—Death of the Emperor—Campaign in Flanders—Battle of Fontenoy—Campaign of Frederick II.—The Young Pretender's Preparations—Loss of the Elizabeth—Landing in the Hebrides—The Highland Clans join him—The First Brush—Raising of the Standard—Cope's Mistake—He turns aside at Dalwhinnie—Charles makes a Dash for Edinburgh—The March to Stirling—Right of the Dragoons—The "Canter of Coltbridge"—Edinburgh surprised by the Highlanders—Charles marching against Cope—Battle of Prestonpans—Delay in marching South—Discontent of the Highland Chiefs—The Start—Preparations in England—Apathy of the Aristocracy—Arrival of the Duke of Cumberland—Charles crosses the Border—Capture of Carlisle—The March to Derby—Resolution to retreat—"Black Friday"—The Retreat—Recapture of Carlisle—Siege of Stirling—Battle of Falkirk—Retreat to the Highlands—Cumberland's Pursuit—Gradual Collapse of the Highlanders—Battle of Culloden—Termination of the Rebellion—Cruelty of the Duke of Cumberland—Adventures of the Young Pretender—Trials and Executions—Ministerial Crisis.Undismayed, Fox renewed the contest on the following day, December 15th, by moving that an humble address should be presented to his Majesty, praying him to send an ambassador to France to treat with the persons constituting the existing executive Government. He said that he did not mean to vindicate what had taken place in that country, although, if we condemned the crimes committed in France, we must also condemn those of Morocco and Algiers, and yet we had accredited agents at the courts of those countries.
The first transactions of the campaign of 1795 which demand our attention, are those of Holland. To the British army these were most disastrous, and came to an end before the winter closed. The Duke of York had returned to England early in December, 1794, leaving the chief command to General Walmoden, a Hanoverian, second to whom was General Dundas. Walmoden had gone quietly into winter quarters in the isle of Bommel, forgetting that the firmness of the ice would soon leave him exposed with his small force to the overwhelming swarms of the French, under Pichegru, who, in the middle of December, crossed the Waal with two hundred thousand men, and drove in his lines. General Dundas advanced against him with eight thousand men, and, for the time, drove the French back, on the 30th of December, across the Waal. But this could not last with such disproportionate forces, especially as our troops were left with the most wretched commissariat, and an equally wretched medical staff; in fact, there were neither surgeons to attend the greater part of the wounded, nor medicines for the sick. On the 4th of January, 1795, the French came back with their overpowering numbers, and on the 6th the British were compelled to retire across the Leck, and continue their retreat, suffering indescribable miseries from the want of food, tents, and proper clothes, in the horrors of a Dutch winter. Notwithstanding this, the British repeatedly turned and drove back the enemy with heavy slaughter. But on the 11th of January Pichegru attacked them in a defile between Arnhem and Nimeguen, with a condensed force of seventy thousand men, and took every measure to destroy, or compel the surrender of, the whole British army. They, however, fought their way through and continued their march for the Elbe, the only quarter open to them. During this retreat they were less harassed by the French, who fell off to occupy Utrecht and Rotterdam, than by the fury of the winter and the hostility of the Jacobinised Dutch, who cursed them as the cause of all the sufferings of their country. Such was the end of Britain's campaign for the defence of her Dutch allies. Holland was proclaimed a free Republic under the protection of France, and Britain immediately commenced operations for indemnifying herself, by seizing the ships and colonies of her late ally in every quarter of the globe. They intercepted the homebound Dutch Indiamen, and when the Council of Government sent deputies to London to reclaim them, Lord Grenville, the Foreign Minister, asked them in what character they came. They replied, that they came as representatives of the sovereign people of Batavia. The Foreign Minister said he knew of no such Power, and declined to receive them. No time was lost in seizing the Dutch colonies and factories. On the 14th of July Admiral Sir G. Keith Elphinstone appeared in Table Bay, and landed a considerable force under command of Major-General Craig. They possessed themselves of Simon's Town and the strong fort of Muyzenberg, and in the beginning of September, being reinforced by another body of troops, under Major-General Alured Clarke, on the 23rd of that month they were masters of Cape Town. A similar activity was displayed in the East Indies; and in the course of the year, or early in 1796, all the Dutch possessions in Ceylon, Malacca, Cochin, Amboyna, and other places were surrendered to the British. The same seizures were in course of execution on the settlements of the Dutch in the West Indies, and on the coast of South America.
The second reading was moved on the 14th by Lord Althorp, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Lord Porchester moved that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. His motion was supported by Sir Edward Sugden. Sir Robert Peel had taunted the Government with inconsistency in adopting alterations, every one of which they had resisted when proposed by the Opposition. Mr. Macaulay retaliated with powerful effect, with respect to the conduct of the Tories on the question of Catholic Emancipation. On a division the numbers were, for the second reading, 324; against it, 162—majority, 162. The House of Commons having thus carried the Reform measure a third time by an increased majority, which was now two to one, the House was adjourned to the 17th of January, when it resumed its sittings. On the 19th of that month the Irish Reform Bill was brought in by Mr. Stanley, and the Scottish Bill by the Lord Advocate. On the 20th the House resolved itself into a committee on the English Bill, and continued to discuss it daily, clause by clause, and word by word, pertinaciously and bitterly wrangling over each, till the 10th of March, when the committee reported. The third reading was moved on the 19th, when the last, and not the least violent, of the debates took place. The Bill was passed on the 23rd by a majority of 116, the numbers being 355 and 239.The calculations of no political party had ever been more completely falsified than those of the Jacobites and their congeners the Tories on the death of the queen. They had relied on the fact that the House of Hanover was regarded with dislike as successors to the throne of England by all the Catholic Powers of Europe, on account of their Protestantism, and many of the Protestant Powers from jealousy; and reckoned that, whilst France would be disposed to support the claims of the Pretender, there were no Continental countries which would support those of Hanover, except Holland and the new kingdom of Prussia, neither of which gave them much alarm. Prussia was but a minor Power, not capable of furnishing much aid to a contest in England. Holland had been too much exhausted by a long war to be willing to engage in another, except for a cause which vitally concerned itself. In England, the Tories being in power, and Bolingbroke earnest in the interest of the Pretender, the Duke of Ormonde at the head of the army, there appeared to the minds of the Jacobites nothing to fear but the too early demise of the queen, which might find their plans yet unmatured. To this they, in fact, attributed their failure; but we may very confidently assert that, even had Anne lived as long as they desired her, there was one element omitted in their calculations which would have overthrown all their attempts—the invincible antipathy to Popery in the heart of the nation, which the steadfast temper of the Pretender showed must inevitably come back with him to renew all the old struggles. The event of the queen's death discovered, too, the comparative weakness of the Tory faction, the strength and activity of the Whigs. The king showing no haste to arrive, gave ample opportunity to the Jacobites—had they been in any degree prepared, as they ought to have been, after so many years, for this great crisis—to introduce the Pretender and rally round his standard. But whilst George I. lingered, no Stuart appeared; and the Whigs had taken such careful and energetic precautions, that without him every attempt must only have brought destruction on the movers. The measures of Shrewsbury were complete. The way by sea was secured for the Protestant king, and the Regency Act provided for the security of every department of Government at home.
The year 1804 opened by an announcement that his Majesty was suffering under a return of his old malady. On the 14th of February an official bulletin was issued at St. James's Palace, informing the public of the royal indisposition; and the repetition of it from day to day, without specifying the nature of the illness, left no doubt of its real character. Still, on the 29th, Addington assured the House that there was no necessary suspension of the royal functions, and the bulletins grew more favourable; but it was well known that he was not really in a condition to transact business till the following September, though at times, as on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of May, he drove about in public, in company with the queen and princesses. Probably his advisers thought that the hearty cheers with which he was received might have a bracing effect on his mind, which had been cruelly harassed by the separation of the Prince of Wales from his wife, the king's niece, amid grave public scandals. Such a circumstance was exactly calculated to throw the royal mind off the balance; but besides this, the unsatisfactory state of his Cabinet and of parties in Parliament was such as greatly to aggravate his anxiety.
of rationsThere was no difficulty in these negotiations as to the full and entire recognition of the independence of the States. The difficult points were but two—one regarding the fishery, and the other regarding the interests of the Royalists or Tories. The British Commissioners stood out strongly for the free permission of all who had been engaged in the war on the English side to return to their homes, and for the restitution of all property confiscated in consequence of such partisanship. The American Commissioners endeavoured to meet this demand by saying the recommendations of Congress would have all the effect that the English proposed. This the Commissioners regarded as so many words, and they insisted so determinedly on this head, that it appeared likely the negotiation would be broken off altogether. At last Franklin said they would consent to allow for all losses suffered by the Royalists, on condition that a debtor and a creditor account was opened, and recompense made for the damages done by the Royalists on the other side; commissioners to be appointed for the purpose of settling all those claims. The English envoys saw at once that this was a deception, that there would be no meeting, or no use in meeting, and they therefore abandoned the point; and the question of the fishing being in part conceded, the provisional articles were signed on the 30th of November, by the four American Commissioners on the one side, and by Mr. Oswald on the other. In the preamble it was stated that these articles were to be inserted in, and to constitute, a treaty of peace, but that the treaty was not to be concluded until the terms of peace had also been settled with France and Spain.
It was a melancholy thing to see the Queen of England bandied about from door to door, in the throng of curious and anxious spectators; cheered by some, laughed at by others, and an object of pity to her friends, making vain efforts to obtain admission to witness the glory of her worthless husband, repulsed at every point by the lowest officials, and compelled to return home discomfited and humiliated. By indiscreet and foolish acts like this she injured her position, and degraded herself to an extent that her husband, powerful and malignant as he was, never could have done. She and her friends counted upon the devotion of the people to her cause, which they hoped would have borne down all impediments and broken through all barriers. But it was felt that in attempting to intrude herself in that way at the risk of marring a great national festival, and causing tumult and possibly bloodshed, she had forgotten her own dignity; her conduct shocked the public sense of propriety, and went far to forfeit popular sympathy. She became deeply sensible of this fact while waiting for admission, and with all her attempts at hilarity, her laughter and gaiety of manner ill concealed the deep, self-inflicted wounds of her spirit, which were never healed. Now completely disenchanted, robbed of the fond illusion which had hitherto affected her perception of things, and viewing her situation in the cold morning light of stern reality, a chill of despondency came over her, and thenceforth settled heavily upon her spirit.
Yet, on the first view of the case, the selection of the Swedes augured anything but a Russian alliance; and showed on the surface everything in favour of Napoleon and France, for it fell on a French general and field-marshal, Bernadotte. The prince royal elect made his public entry into Stockholm on the 2nd of November. The failing health of the king, the confidence which the talents of Bernadotte had inspired, the prospect of a strong alliance with France through him—all these causes united to place the national power in his hands, and to cast upon him, at the same time, a terrible responsibility. The very crowds and cries which surrounded him expressed the thousand expectations which his presence raised. The peasantry, who had heard so much of his humble origin and popular sentiments, looked to him to curb the pride and oppression of the nobles; the nobles flattered themselves that he would support their cause, in the hope that they would support him; the mass of the people believed that a Republican was the most likely to maintain the principles of the Revolution of 1809; the merchants trusted that he would be able to obtain from Napoleon freedom for trade with Great Britain, so indispensable to Sweden; and the army felt sure that, with such a general, they should be able to seize Norway and re-conquer Finland. Nor was this all. Bernadotte knew that there existed a legitimist party in the country, which might long remain a formidable organ in the hands of internal factions or external enemies. How was he to lay the foundation of a new dynasty amid all these conflicting interests? How satisfy at once the demands of France, Britain, and Russia? Nothing but firmness, prudence, and sagacity could avail to surmount the difficulties of his situation; but these Bernadotte possessed.Otherwise the prospect was dismal enough, and some of the greatest thinkers of the age were profoundly affected by the conviction that they were on the eve of a vast convulsion—that the end of the world was at hand, and that the globe was about to emerge into a new state of existence. The unsettled state of society accounts, in some measure, for the prevalence of the delusions of Edward Irving—then in the height of his fame; delusions from which such minds as Dr. Arnold's did not wholly escape. In reply to inquiries about the gift of tongues, this great man wrote:—"If the thing be real, I should take it merely as a sign of the coming day of the Lord. However, whether this be a real sign or no, I believe the day of the Lord is coming—i.e. the termination of one of the great ages of the human race; whether the final one of all, or not, that, I believe, no created being knows, or can know.... My sense of the evils of the times, and to what purpose I am bringing up my children, is overwhelmingly bitter. All the moral and physical worlds appear so exactly to announce the coming of the great day of the Lord—i.e. a period of fearful visitation, to terminate the existing state of things—whether to terminate the whole existence of the human race, neither man nor angel knows—that no entireness of private happiness can possibly close my mind against the sense of it."
Under the operation of the Corn Laws the price of wheat rose to one hundred and fifty-six shillings a quarter in 1801, and the enclosure of waste lands kept pace accordingly; and upwards of a million of acres were enclosed every ten years. From 1800 the amount of enclosure in ten years was a million and a half of acres. The rapid increase of population, through the growth of manufactures, and the introduction of canals, as well as the fact that the people at large began to abandon the use of oats and rye in bread, and to use wheat, promoted the growth of that grain immensely. In 1793 Sir John Sinclair established the Board of Agriculture, which was incorporated, and received an annual grant from Parliament. The indefatigable Arthur Young was elected its secretary, and agricultural surveys of the kingdom were made. The reports of these were published, adding greatly to a comprehension of the real state of cultivation. In 1784 Young had commenced the publication of the "Annals of Agriculture," by which invaluable information was diffused, and new prizes were offered by the Board for improvements, and great annual sheep-shearings were held at Woburn and Holkham, by the Duke of Bedford and Mr. Coke, afterwards Lord Leicester, which tended to stimulate the breed of better sheep. The king himself had his model farms, and introduced merino sheep from Spain. It was long, however, before the better modes of ploughing could be introduced amongst the farmers. The Scots were the first to reduce the number of the horses which drew the plough, using only two, whilst in England might still be seen a heavy, clumsy machine drawn by from four to six horses, doing less work, and that work less perfectly."The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," by Gibbon, began to appear in 1776, a few months before the death of Hume, and was not completed till 1788. It consisted of six ponderous quarto volumes, and now often occupies double that number of octavos. It is a monument of enormous labour and research, filling the long, waste, dark space between ancient and modern history. It traces the history of Rome from its Imperial splendour; through its severance into East and West; through its decadence under its luxurious and effeminate emperors; through the ravages of the invading hordes of the North, to the period when the nations of Europe began, in the dawn of a new morning, to rise from the depth of barbarism into life, form, and power. The faults of this great work are, that it is written, like Hume's "History of England," in the sceptical spirit of the period; and that it marches on, in one high-sounding, pompous style, with a monotonous step, over every kind of subject. The same space and attention are bestowed on the insignificance of the feeblest emperors, and the least important times, as on the greatest and most eventful. It is a work which all should read, but a large part of it will be waded through rather as a duty than a pleasure. Still, Gibbon holds his own indispensable position; no other man has yet risen to occupy it better.It was with this object that Mr. Pierce Mahony got up the celebrated "Leinster declaration," so called from the signature of Ireland's only duke. But the experiment served only to reveal the weakness of the moderate party, for after lying for signature in Latouche's Bank for two months, only forty-two names were attached to it within that period. When, however, the struggle between the two parties was on the point of having a bloody issue, the alarm spread through the ranks of moderate men on both sides, and the document rapidly received signatures. The declaration set forth that the disqualifying laws which affected Roman Catholics were productive of consequences prejudicial in the highest degree to the interests of Ireland—the primary cause of her poverty—the source of political discontents and religious animosities—destructive alike of social happiness and national prosperity. Unless the legislature should speedily apply a remedy to those evils, they must in their rapid progression assume such a character as would, perhaps, render their removal impossible. It was stated, therefore, to be a matter of paramount importance that the whole subject should be taken into immediate consideration by Parliament, "with a view to such a final conciliatory adjustment as may be conducive to the peace and strength of the United Kingdom, to the stability of our national institutions, and to the general satisfaction and concord of all classes of his Majesty's subjects."
From the Picture by T. R. HARDY.
Progress was again shown in a speech of Lord John Russell in the debate on the condition of the people on the 26th of May. Still clinging to his idea of a fixed duty, he said, "If I had a proposition to make, it would not be the 8s. duty which was proposed in 1841." An exclamation of "How much, then?" from Sir James Graham drew forth the further remark—"No one, I suppose, would propose any duty that would be less than 4s.; and 4s., 5s., or 6s., if I had a proposition to make, would be the duty that I should propose." The awkward anomalies of Sir Robert Peel's position were the frequent subject of the attacks of his enemies at this time; but the country felt that there was a littleness in the Whig leader's paltry and vacillating style of dealing with a great question, beside which, at least, the position of the Minister exhibited a favourable contrast.详情
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